Bedsores: Causes and Prevention
What are bedsores? Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, affect people who have spent a long time in one position. For patients who have been bedridden for some time because of certain illnesses such as paralysis, age-related health concerns, or frailty suffer from bedsores which can be quite painful. How can caregivers prevent elderly bedsores? It is important to know what causes them in the first place.
What Causes Bed Sores?
Some of the most common areas for bedsores are on the back but other areas also include elbows, knees, heels, coccyx, or ankles. Bedsores usually occur when the bone squeezes the skin and the tissues against an outside surface on the weight-bearing parts of the body.
Pressure sores are usually caused by continuous pressure on the skin. For those with sensitive or frail skin, this friction leads to poor circulation and damaging of the skin. Sometimes patients tend to slide down on their bed and this can aggravate the bedsores leading to more pain and in some cases infections.
Seniors and patients above 70 years old are most affected by bedsores, especially those that are bedridden in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Some of the most common signs of developing bedsores are when the skin begins to change color or texture. Caregivers may also notice swelling, pus-like draining or very tender areas around the skin.
How to treat bed sores?
If left untreated, bedsores can become life-threatening. Bedsore treatment and prevention is important at the right time. Fortunately, there are many simple actions you can take to treat and prevent these painful sores once you are aware of the problem. For example, seat cushions are great for a senior or older person’s comfort especially in a nursing care facility. The best way to prevent sores is to keep the elderly or senior from staying in one position on the bed or chair.
- Use mattresses and cushions that are made of weight-distributing materials like gel, polymers, or air. Many of these will alternate pressure points through an electric pump.
- Rollover about once every two hours. Whatever roll frequency preferences may be, caregivers keep track of when they need to roll their loved ones at night.
- Clean all areas of the skin thoroughly and apply creams and powders when necessary in consultation with a doctor.
Bed Sores Prevention:
Vulnerable patients suffer the most from bedsores. It is important to detect early-stage bedsores so steps can be taken to heal them. Sometimes they can be hard to prevent but with the right measures you can alleviate the chances of your senior loved one getting bedsores.
- Daily inspection of areas most susceptible to bedsores
- Moving the position of a patient so they do not rest in one state for too long
- Pillow or foam wedges can help maintain shifted weight
- Keep the skin dry and clean
- Proper nutrition
You can also invest in comfortable adaptive wear for your loved ones. If your senior loved one is bedridden or in a wheelchair, back open pants and back open shirts help avoid painful movements when it comes to changing clothes.
What can you do if you see a bedsore developing or if an existing bedsore if getting worse? Contact your healthcare provider for a proper medical examination so you can prevent them from getting worse and causing more pain.
Reference: Medical News Today